Pakistani activists face official complaints over PTM-related tweets


The Twitter accounts of two Pakistani female activists, Reema Omer and Nida Kirmani, have been named in a legal request lodged to Twitter. These complaints have reportedly come from “official correspondence” on the grounds that certain tweets made from those accounts “violate Pakistani laws”.

Kirmani, academic, and sociologist, shared that three of her tweets have been mentioned in the email from Twitter Legal.

The first one is a tweet in which she had shared a photo with Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader Manzoor Pashteen, secondly, a tweet critiquing “the creation of an ultra-nationalist death squad” and thirdly, a tweet in which she had put up a “defence of PTM”.

“No specific laws were mentioned,” she stated.

She also shared a screenshot of the email she received from Twitter’s legal team that encourages her to “consult legal counsel” in the matter.

Reema Omer, who serves as an international legal advisor, shared that Twitter reached out to her that “tweets questioning the procedures of military courts violate Pakistani law”.

“Interesting times where ‘officials’ see references to the law – i.e. the Constitution + judgments of high courts – as a violation of the law”, she wrote.

However, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry denied government involvement in this matter.

“This is absolutely an academic debate. Why would the government question that debate? There has been no correspondence with Twitter on this topic from us”, he responded.

To which, Reema inquired if Twitter was “making up these emails” or if “some imposter pretending to be a government official was making these complaints” or were “these complaints being made ‘officially’, but without the government’s knowledge?”

It merits a mention that Sindh police on Monday booked a number of PTM activists under charges of terrorism after the party organised a rally Sohrab Goth area of Karachi a day earlier.

The FIR (22/2019), registered on behalf of the State through Sohrab Goth SHO Rao Zakir, says the rally speakers used “undesirable language against state institutions”.